A further selection from the House of Jo Technical Drawing Archive can be found here
Martin Margiela can be considered the fashion designer’s designer and possibly a 7th member of the Antwerp 6, Rei Kawabuko and the late Alexander McQueen praised his work as inspirational. Margiela was born on April 9, 1957 in Belgium and studied fashion at the Academie Royale des Beaux Arts in Antwerp. After graduating cut his teeth as a freelance designer (1980-1985) before three years assisting Jean Paul Gaultier.
Work in Progress: 11cm diameter mini beret base crocheted with a 1.25mm hook, 3ply merino wool and a padding cord of cotton approx 4ply.
Still work in progress… sampling a variety of yarns and flowers for this wee hat and have found using the same wool as the base yields the most harmonious match. I’ve also made a bud and a slightly bigger leaf but am going to try and crochet me some netting before I make the arrangement more permanent.
I’ve been sampling as fine a crochet net as can be, slightly hampered by my desire to have a net of either purple or green but am so far unsuccessful. The cat isn’t exactly helping and has on more than one occasion amused herself whilst I sleep, rolling my day’s work around the floor. I have a feeling I’m just gonna have to crack on and add the art of Netting to my arsenal to get the perfect size of netting. For now: shown with a piece of shop bought netting.
On the Netting front: I have borrowed Lovely Liza Long’s Great Great Grandmother’s “Weldons Encyclopaedia of Needlework” which has got an excellent chapter on Netting and intend to try my hand.
Irish Crochet is lace/crochet hybrid traditionally composed of a fine linen thread. A series of button hole stitches (or double crochets) are worked with a very fine crochet hook over a foundation cord of various thickness or strands. This padding foundation thread is in and out of work as the individual motif requires and can be used to draw up the petals to create a curve or a curl to mimic petals and provide a stabilising element. These individual motifs are then sewn face down to a temporary background and joined together with a fine netting crocheted ground.
Initially Irish Lace was a significant part of the Irish needlework tradition offering women the possibility of working from home and supplementing household income, something that was never more necessary than in the years after the Potato Famine of the 1840’s. In an attempt to revive the Irish economy classes in Irish Crochet were given by charitable organisations to anyone who was willing to learn. Crocheted lace was a particularly suitable technique for this because as initial investment for a cottage industry were minimal: thread & hook rather than the multiple pairs of bobbins and cushions required for lacemaking. Crochet is an incredibly portable occupation having only one active stitch at anyone time, making it easier to pick up and put down as other tasks dictate. The vogue for light coloured lace must also have been a boon for those working under poorly lit conditions and it should also be remembered that the unique quality of this lace being made from individual motifs would have allowed collaboration between women. This is particularly possible as there is an element of free styling to making the motifs-mistakes can be easily disguised and do not impact upon the eventual fabric.
Even Gaultier has had a go.
Studio Merel Karhof is London based Design Studio which defines its work within the public space, uses elements that people share, from the most obvious thing like the wind, to ignored details like the pattern on a manhole cover. In the approach to design, the studio chooses a specific heritage and make people experience it in a new way. Shown here is a wind powered circular sock knitting machine: check out the website for more info and videos of the machine in action.
Okay, so here’s one from the archives: I mourn therefore I am is a collection of dresses and jackets for melancholy days featuring fine gauge crochet and cotton/silk mix fabrics although Bombarzine or Crepe would probably be more historically accurate.
Mary Everest Boole (1832–1916) was a self-taught mathematician who is most well known as an author of didactic works on mathematics, such as Philosophy and Fun of Algebra, and as the wife of fellow mathematician George Boole. Her progressive ideas on education, as expounded in The Preparation of the Child for Science, included encouraging children to explore mathematics through playful activities such as ‘curve stitching‘. Whereas I am Jo Barnfield (1972- ) a self taught Adobe Illustrator who is a little known author of excellent shopping lists and is married to no one*. I enjoy playful activities such as Parabola Tombola and failed to pass my Math GCSE.
*I do have a cat though, so I’m not entirely afraid of commitment
Every morning you greet me
Small and white, clean and bright
You look happy to meet me
*disclaimer: The names of many of the flowers in this blog have been changed, as have certain physical characteristics and other descriptive details. Some of the flowers, names and characters are also composites of several individual flowers or foliage groups and any similarity to flowers in real life is purely accidental.